When researching classic car valuations, I often come across classic cars that catch my eye – it’s how I ended up owning so many cars of my own. A recent classic car divorce valuation report on a small UK collection including a very rare early UK RHD Jaguar E Type ‘Flat Floor’ Roadster or Open Top Sports (OTS) in Red with Black trim led me to a beautiful example currently for sale that I would certainly be following up on if I had the money to buy and space to store properly.

The car in question is a RHD 1961 Jaguar E Type Flat Floor Roadster/OTS in Blue with Red leather trim. It looks a superb restoration, running welded louvres, high end Suffolk and Turley interior and wonderful details throughout. The RHD is a conversion from factory LHD, but nonetheless the quality appears to be exceptional. The dealer states a price of £120k including delivery, having been reduced from £140k some weeks ago. This was enough to get my attention.

About the Flat Floor Jaguar E Type

The term “flat floor’ refers to the front floors of the car being flatter than later models. Seen only on very early cars and built in low numbers before the floor pressings were altered to give more driving comfort, the “Flat Floor” is considered the purest E Type of them all. It featured a fighter plane influenced aluminium central console, enclosed front headlights, 3.8-litre engine and a race-derived Moss gearbox.

Part of the attraction and mystique of flat floors is the rarity, but not all enthusiasts are convinced of their merits. “Flat floors are not rare so don’t pay a premium for one as they merely add to the inconvenience of driving an E-Type,” said one. “Basically they have little to offer other than bragging rights. The real defining moment was with the change from the flat bulkheads to scalloped in May 1962.”

“Flat Floor cars after the first 500 do change weekly, noted another E Type fan. “Some things to see are recessed area behind the seats, floors, bonnet etc. depending on where it falls in month (week) of production. For instance, bonnets changed from welded inner panel flanges to adhesive attached flanges with the replacement of the six or so being replaced as they worked out the manufacture with louvers being welded in to punched in occurring last. However most bonnets on 3.8s have been replaced by now so there may not be anything there to look at.

“The other thing to keep in mind with changes is that they made far more LHD cars than RHD and more open cars than coupes. This means the 25th RHD coupe will be built to the same specification as the 2756th LHD open car. Number count kay be off as I do not have my build serial number chart by month handy. You get the idea: a low number RHD coupe may not be as early as thought.”

I would caution that I have done no other research and have not inspected the car available for sale, but it looks a handsome example and is surprisingly well priced against where I see these early Jaguar E Type Roadsters and their long term investment potential. The LHD to RHD conversion takes a bit off value, but if you want to buy an early manual Jaguar E Type Roadster to own and enjoy and perhaps keep your money fairly safe then this could be one for your shoppping list.

Here’s an interesting video of a Jaguar E Type Flat floor restoration. I have no affiliation to the garage.

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Images courtesy of unsplash/author